Did you graduate in four years? If you did, good for you. For a lot of the population though, a victory lap is generally needed to graduate from school. In the curious case of Kliff Kingsbury, he’s on his victory lap. Pass the test, and he’ll enjoy the fruits of his labor for years to come. Fail, and you’ll wind up at a community college.
Kingsbury was sorta like that prodigy 16-year-old kid who showed up in your Business 101 class acting like he belonged. That first semester was a site to behold. He won his first seven games, got a 4.0 and made the Dean’s List. His parents couldn’t be more excited and it appeared as if he chose the right group of “friends.”
Then, the second semester occurred and his grades started to slip. Five losses, some ugly, and things were looking very dark indeed. His best pal Matt Wallerstedt flunked outta school from too much drinking, and we all got worried. But, finals came around, and he aced his bowl game against Arizona State to save a 3.25 GPA in his first year. Things were looking good again and Kliff set up a top-notch internship for the summer.
What a summer Kliff had - we’re talking Kentucky Derby, pool parties, bicep curls on the daily - but WOW with his lack of focus in the classroom.
All his eggs were put in the Davis Webb basket and we had dreams of him being our first quarterback to be an NFL stud. Well, not so fast, Kliff skipped the first month of class, flunked his mid-terms, and hardly showed up for his second semester courses. A pitiful 4-8 record showed a total lack of focus and there were concerns that maybe Kingsbury was too young for the role (or too young for college). His parents didn’t worry though, because clearly the professors had it out for him.
A 1.5 GPA as a sophomore, but plenty of good will from his first year kept his GPA buoyed at a 2.5. Not bad, but nothing flashy either.
A renewed focus consumed Kliff and the hype train was chugging along once again. Likely the most dangerous offense in Tech history took the field and protege Pat Mahomes appeared to be the real deal. Despite having some issues with his upper-level major courses, i.e. defense, he had a new tutor in David Gibbs that had tons of experience.
Kliff finally got the hint that going to class, taking notes, and studying for exams worked better than partying.
His flexibility to change his bad habits, trust the run game, and game planning against the likes of Texas and Arkansas showed glimpses of what was to become. Not to mention we had an arm talent that was going to key to our future. A sturdy 3.0, got us back to a 2.75 cumulative, and we all believed that if we aced our senior year we’d get a killer opportunity.
What in the hell happened? His Day 1 squad was dropping like flies, he couldn’t seem to pass his exams even if he studied, and his tutor clearly wasn’t getting it. To compound the issues even more, he knew that this was his year to show what he was made of. His parents didn’t get it either - Kliff had assured them this was going to be his best semester yet. But he flunked a few mid-terms, and it was obvious he couldn’t recover. To salvage a 1.75 GPA, he had to ace his final exam against Baylor to even stay in school.
Clearly, he was going to have to attend summer school, retake Defense 405, and pray that his loans/parents wouldn’t cut him off going into what is his final semesters of college with help.
Super Senior Year
So here we are today, it’s time for Kingsbury to grow up and graduate. He’s been piddling around too much at Football Coach College and the world is telling him to figure it out. Everyone wants their kid to succeed, but at a certain point you gotta find a way to get out of school and become a productive member of society. Sometimes it takes a kick in the ass to get it done, and a sobering reality that you’re on your final strike before you really change.
Kliff - bust your tail, learn from your mistakes, and let’s get that degree.